Hyatt Scottsdale Resort and Spa @ Gainey Ranch

Our aunt who regularly visits us in Toronto was making the trip once again to meet my 10 month old daughter (at the time) for the first time.  She was visiting from India and after a few weeks in the great Canadian north she asked us to take her to a place that was warm, she was clearly already missing home!

Since I was on maternity leave, a girls trip with my two girls, sister, mom and aunt was suiting – when would we get the chance to do this again? We decided on Arizona as our destination as we always heard so many great things but never made it out there. The closest we got to Arizona was Las Vegas but that is an entirely different story for a different post.

We booked our flights on Westjet and picked Hyatt Scottsdale simply because the pictures were amazing and it was a quick 25 minute ride from the airport. After the long 4.5 hour flight from Toronto (with a 10 month old and a 5 year old) we were happy to be in a nice and sunny location! The weather in October was just perfect, low 80’s during the day and high 70’s at night.

As we check in my daughter grabs a cookie from the Regency Club section with my mom, me being busy with check in did not realise the cookie had peanuts in it.  My daughter being severely allergic to peanuts has a full fledge anaphylactic reaction.  This was clearly my fault as I was not paying attention to my hungry child, the hotel quickly called an ambulance as I administered the Epi Pen – thank god my backpack was with me and I was able to quickly administer the medicine to her.  We were escorted to the hospital which was about 5 minutes away and within a few hours my daughter was back to normal and we were able to return to the hotel with a happy child who was sad she didn’t get any pool time that day.  Private health care in such an instance does make a difference – the bill well that’s another story as well! We were provided the best service by the hotel, they really took care of my daughter and went above and beyond what was required.  That evening we arrived back to the hotel and the staff had sent some plush toys for my girls to welcome them back, they continued to check in on us everyday that we were there to see if we needed anything else. They even marked the cookies the next day to instruct guests of the contents.

Grounds and Location

We found the grounds of the hotel to be meticulously groomed and clean, this resort is an oasis where you can experience true luxury and impeccable service that define Hyatt Scottsdale resort and spa. We had adjoining suites on the ground floor and enjoyed the stunning lake views from our guestroom. We were also able to gaze at the beautiful McDowell Mountains from their open-air lobby restaurant and bar which was just a few short steps from our room.  The hotel looks huge, but its open concept allowed for easy access to all the amenities and we were able to get from one end to the other in less than 7 minutes.  The hotel has an onsite spa (Avania) that we took full advantage of.  My sister and I spent a few glorious hours of adult time just enjoying the facility and lounging outside in their mineral pool.  There is an on site Kids Club where we left my oldest daughter while we visited the spa. She loved drawing and playing with the other kids for a few hours and was quite happy when we picked her up.

Bars and Restaurants

The hotel has seven Bars and Restaurants on property. You can choose from Italian, Mexican, American and and Japanese fare.  They also serve Starbucks on site; we would grab our cup of Joe before heading off for the day.  Most times if we were lounging at the resort we would eat at the Cantina Bar which also served in front of Center Stage located in an open area in the middle of the hotel.  We would lounge here and order food as we wanted to enjoy being outside as much as possible. We loved the open concept of the Center Stage area, where we were able to enjoy our drinks and food under the stars as we watched the nightly entertainment from local bands.  You had to come a few minutes early to grab a seat as they would get quickly taken by guests who also had the same idea as us.  We also had Regency Club as part of our package which included breakfast in the morning, snacks throughout the day, and nightly hor d’oeuvres and drinks. This served us just fine and we took full advantage of the offerings, and it gave us a place to sit down and unwind after a day of exploring. There is also outside seating with a massive pond in the middle with giant Koi fish which the girls visited everyday. I think this is a good deal for families as you get the best bang for your buck. We also visited Canyon Market quite a bit for our morning coffee, ice cream, and snacks – the market is open 24 hours which was nice.

I do wish there were more offerings for the kids food wise, our girls were tired of eating chicken fingers by the end of our stay. Would have been nice perhaps to have more kids favourites such as pizza, pasta, and fruit available as well.  My kids would eat a big breakfast (really great cold and hot selection) and then just munch on snacks throughout the day as there wasn’t much they were interested in.  It would be good if the resort offered more kids activities by the pool or in the main lobby as well. See below of our view from Center Stage.

Pools & Beach

The heated pools were magnificent and the temperature was always just right.  The property boasts 10 pools, so basically something for everyone.  There was an adults only pool with a waterfall, kids pools with man made beach, a water slide (which was not always open) and the pools were inter-connected for the most part. We stayed at the kids pool most of the time we were there as the kids LOVED the beach area and slide, it provided them countless hours of fun and the adults went down the slide a few times as well..;) There were tons of beach chairs and you never had to reserve them as they always seemed to be available no matter what time of day it was. My favourite was to park myself on one of the chairs and just gaze at the palm trees that adorned the area.  We don’t get this in Toronto so I felt that no matter how much I stared I could not get enough of it.  We also ordered snacks and drinks poolside and the service was really good, as was the food. It was nice to not have to go into the restaurant to get some eats.  There are cabanas there to rent which were quite pricey, likely a reason we didn’t see anyone use them when we were there.  I understand that they are considered a premium service but I think given what you are paying to stay here they should be included for the guests as they offer shade and it gets blazing hot during the day.

Tips

The hotel has a shuttle service that takes you to and from attractions such as Old town, and two different shopping areas. You do have to book the service ahead of time to ensure you get a spot, one time we took the shuttle to the outdoor shopping area and quickly realized that it was way too hot and the shuttle driver was nice enough to come back to pick us up. We were also able to have the shuttle driver take us to the McCormick Railway Park which was not on their regular route – my girls loved it here. They have a merry go round, real life train that takes you through the park, a general store, and lots of happy little ones.

If you are a family definitely get the Regency Club access, for the price you pay per day it is definitely worth it.  Evening drinks are just a few dollars and a few nights the d’oeuvres served were equivalent to full meals.  With Club access you also get access to the spa amenities and mineral pool.

We honestly had such a great time at the Hyatt Scottsdale, I would go back in a heartbeat.  I am working on getting the hubby to book a family trip there for next year, if I could skip the travel time and the 3 hour time difference I would be booking a trip this year! Hopefully by next year the girls will be better with more patience for longer flights and we can return to this small piece of paradise!

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